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Aug 7, 2008 09:17 AM

Sunnyvale, CA - Mexican recommendations


I'll be in Sunnyvale, CA (visiting from Seattle) this Sunday night and am looking for a good Mexican restaurant recommendation. I want something yummy and authentic, but as we'll be a group, it should probably be somewhere with comfortable seating, etc. (esp. as I'm pregnant - comfy matters so much more now, haha!).

Anyway, recommendations in Sunnyvale or at least close to there would be great. I'm hoping for a nice dinner with family. I don't love the Mexican options in Seattle, so I'm really hoping for something that will satisfy this "craving."


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  1. Sunnyvale is not exactly a hot bed of Mexican food. The better food is in San Jose. However, I've read good things about the following (but haven't tried). Maybe Silicon Valley chowhounds can comment

    - El Molcajete Restaurant & Taqueria
    - La Hacienda
    - Casa Lupe Number 2
    - Tia Juana Restaurant
    - ValleSol

    1. A lot Mexican sit-down restaurants (vs. Taquerias) are closed on Sunday. Check out La Fiesta and Fiesta del Mar Too in Mountain View. Also Estrellita in Los Altos. All a short drive from Sunnyvale.

      Fiesta Del Mar Too
      735 Villa St, Mountain View, CA 94041

      La Fiesta Restaurant
      240 Villa St, Mountain View, CA 94041

      Estrellita Restaurant
      4141 El, Camino Real Palo Alto, CA

      1. Try Los Charros on El Camino Real. Good Carnitas. The restaurant is new and actually nice to eat in compared to some of the grab and go joints. This is the second branch for this outfit with the first being off Castro St in Mtn View.

        1. Estrellita is by far the most interesting Mexican restaurant that is relatively close to Sunnyvale. It has southern Mexican regional dishes as specials which, together with the chicken Oaxaca, are the highlight of the menu. It's a very comfortable place and good for a group, and is usually not too crowded on Sunday.

          I don't know that Estrellita place in Palo Alto is that was linked earlier; I am talking about the place in Los Altos. It's just a few miles up El Camino from west Sunnyvale. Sunnyvale itself is more a hotbed for Indian food than Mexican. I went to Los Charros once and found it OK but totally unmemorable. Casa Lupe 2 is a nice old-fashioned Cal/Mex place that is actually in Sunnyvale, but 1) they are not open on Sunday and 2) from your description I don't think it's the type of food that you are looking for.


          Estrellita Restaurant
          971 N San Antonio Rd, Los Altos, CA 94022

          8 Replies
          1. re: mdg

            Thanks for clarifying - I meant the Los Altos restaurant, but clicked on the wrong Link to a place.

            1. re: mdg

              Thank you for the recommendations, everyone! I had been looking at Casa Lupe 2 based on yelp, but didn't realize they were closed on Sundays. One person has to be somewhere at 7, which keeps us restricted to Sunnyvale area. I've definitely had S. Indian food in the area and really enjoyed it! That will be another meal. :)

              1. re: sheitoon

                As others have mentioned, there's a lot more quantity in Sunnyvale and the surrounding towns for Mexican food than there is quality. Even the much touted Estrellita in Los Altos is pretty forgettable and has the typical menu for local sit down Mexican places.

                Have you tried Galerias in Seattle? I haven't been there, but they have a newish place in Las Vegas that I ate at recently. It's way better than any Mexican restaurant remotely close to Sunnyvale, as good or better than anything I can think of in SF or Oakland/Berkeley.

                Go for another kind of food is my recommendation.

                One possible alternative, come to think of it, is the just opened Oaxacan Kitchen on Birch in Palo Alto just north of California Ave. It's maybe 25 minutes from Sunnyvale. I've eaten at their farmers market stalls and it's OK, not great, but a little different than the usual. Maybe the restaurant is worthwhile. I intend to find out soon.

                1. re: maigre

                  oh maigre, I wish I had read this before leaving! We went to Estrellita and it was more than forgettable. I was SO sad. Nobody liked their food, so I felt pretty guilty! I didn't finish what I ate...

                  Galerias in Seattle is just ok. I've heard that it's changed owners and is going downhill. Their guacamole is great! comes with flautas. That's all I need when I go there!

                  Next time, will keep to the Indian options. :) (Oh, went to Junnoon in Palo Alto for our anniversary and LOVED it!)

                  1. re: sheitoon

                    Well, sheitoon, at least I tried :-)

                    Galerias in Vegas didn't seem to be doing all that well. The guy who was running it, the brother of the owner, I think, told me that they had problems because people would look at the menu and leave when they didn't see the usual selection of enchiladas, tostadas, chile rellenos and the standard stews, etc. He'd try to convince them that there was more to Mexican cooking than that, but it was a hard sell.

                    I like Junnoon, too, though I've only been there for lunch.

                    1. re: sheitoon

                      What did you order? It seems like the thing to order there are the specials or the two former specials that moved to the regular menu - Chicken Oaxaca and Mole Poblano.

                      This was a nice review about those dishes and the specials.

                      The writer also posts on yelp. He said that recently the nephew took over, but he thought all was still well in terms of what they specialize in.

                      1. re: rworange

                        At the table we got enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, chimichanga, and burritos between the table. I had the enchiladas and tacos and was super sad. The red sauce it came with had a strangely Italian flavor to it. I wish I'd tried the Chicken Oaxaca.

                        Unfortunately, I don't like mole. I've tried to convince myself that I do in the past, but it just hasn't worked. I just don't like sweet for main dishes. oh well.

                        1. re: sheitoon

                          There is a reason I only recommend Estrellita for chicken Oaxaca and the specials. If you want a restaurant where everything on the menu is great, this isn't it. But it is a restaurant where you can reliably order some of the best and most interesting Mexican food in the area.